New research shows prevalence of sleep texting among college students
Web Log: Survey finds over a quarter of students reported instances of sleep texting
Sleep texting: new condition affecting many students. Photograph: Getty Images
Conditions like sleep walking and sleep talking are well known, there are even documented cases of driving and committing murder (homicidal somnambulism) while asleep.
Sleep texting, however, is a fairly new area of inquiry but a new study from Villanova University in the United States claims that a significant number of young people are waking up to find they’ve messaged friends in their sleep.
Surveying 372 college students, it was found that over a quarter (25.6 per cent) reported instances of sleep texting with 72 per cent having no memory of this at all.
Lead author of the study, Elizabeth B Dowdell, says the lack of memory is unsurprising as it is common not to recall the last few minutes before we fall asleep. So, if students are sleeping with their phones – and this is quite commonplace – it is easy to see how sleep texting can occur.
Although this is a new study, the data they’re working with is old by standards of technological progress and how deeply embedded in our lives mobile devices have become.
Participants were drawn from two mid-sized American universities in 2013, so it’s possible that with increased smartphone prevalence and usage, sleep texting has increased significantly in the last five years.